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NANOTRANSPORT- Behaviour of aerosols released to ambient air from nanoparticle manufacturing - A pre-normative study (NMP4-CT-2006-033371)

Project period: September 2006 April 2008  

Aim of the project: to investigate the physical changes which airborne nanoparticles undergo after release in workplace environments. We intended to elucidate and document the need for standardized test aerosols and test conditions adapted to the scope of nanotoxicology and occupational health studies.

Our approach:

-    Analyse typical scenarios of release and transport of airborne nanoparticles in an occupational setting;

-    Select model parameters which affect physical changes in nanoparticle aerosols after release in workplace environments;

-    Identify methodologies for generating test aerosols and measuring the relevant parameters;

-    Carry out experiments to explore the aerosol dynamics of nanoparticles in simulated workplace environments under defined exposure scenarios;

-    Develop recommendations based on project results.  

Key conclusions of the study:

l          There is considerable evolution of nanoaerosols over time: their average size increases, while their concentration decreases;

l          Natural background aerosols are scavengers for nanoparticles;

l          The time scale for size evolution depends on concentration and primary size of the nanoparticles and that of the background aerosol - it may range from a matter of a few minutes up to half an hour;

l          Nanoparticles will be physically/chemically present in size classes other than those in which they were originally emitted;

l          Filtration efficiency for primary nanoparticles < 80 nm is usually sufficiently high, but their agglomerates may be in the Most Penetrating Particle Size (MPPS) range of between 80-200 nm.

Recommendations to EC: Transport of Nanopaticles in the Workplace Environment and its Effects on the Size Spectrum (presented at the final project workshop on 16 April 2008 in Brussels) 

Publishable final activity report: Behaviour of aerosols released to ambient air from nanoparticle manufacturing - A pre-normative study

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Last updated: 06/24/08.